David Parfitt

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My Week With Marilyn Review


Very Good
Based on Colin Clark's memoirs, this film sometimes feels a bit too warm and nostalgic for its own good. But the performances are strong, and it's packed with terrific moments.

At age 23, Colin (Redmayne) is struggling to break into the movie business, camping out at the production offices of Laurence Olivier (Branagh), who is just about to start filming the 1957 comedy The Prince and the Showgirl with Marilyn Monroe (Williams). While Marilyn's diva behaviour and strict acting coach (Wanamaker) enrage Laurence, he can't deny that when she gets it right, she's magic. Meanwhile, Colin is assigned to help Marilyn make it through the shoot. And of course he can't help falling for her.

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I Capture The Castle Review


Extraordinary
Movies teach us the power of love. Reality, quickly and without apology, demonstrates its limitations. Rarely does a film show us the flipside, but I Capture the Castle is that special exception.

Based on Dodie Smith's novel, I Capture the Castle gives us a 17-year-old named Cassandra (Romola Garai), who spends most of her time writing in her journal. There is plenty of material around her. At the height of his literary fame, her father (Bill Nighy) bought an isolated castle on the English countryside. Twelve years later, circa mid-1930s, he hasn't written anything more than a laundry list and looks like a fine candidate for a straitjacket. As his creativity crumbles, so does his family, while the castle remains dank, dark, and home to quite a few rats.

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Chasing Liberty Review


Terrible
If you really want to know what Mandy Moore did last summer, then check out her European travelogue called Chasing Liberty. But be warned, watching her travels in this film makes sitting through the reels of your grandparent's vacation seem like an easy walk in the park. Moore's third film about finding true love is worthless, and just about as believable as those vacation slides are entertaining.

Moore is Anna "Liberty" Foster, the 18-year old daughter of the overly protective President of the United States (Mark Harmon). She's in search of a life outside the White House, yet her dad refuses to let her leave home without an entourage of Secret Service agents (in today's world, I can hardly blame him). When her latest date bails on her because the agents are "way to out of control," she demands that her dad grant her some space while on their upcoming trip to Prague. He relents slightly, because unbeknownst to her, he has conveniently found a young secret service agent named Ben Calder (Matthew Goode) to befriend her and watch over her activity.

Continue reading: Chasing Liberty Review

Shakespeare In Love Review


Extraordinary
Easily the best comedy of the year - and the best film of the year to star Joseph Fiennes and feature Queen Elizabeth as a major character - Shakespeare in Love gets a hands-down recommendation for all filmgoers.

The clever premise follows one William Shakespeare (Fiennes), stuck with writer's block while trying to pen "Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate's Daughter" and unable to get his own love life going to boot.

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The Madness Of King George Review


Good
1994's last Oscar contender crawled into Austin last week, the much-heralded film The Madness of King George. Adapted from the acclaimed stage play, Nigel Hawthorne reprises his lead role as King George III, the British monarch during the time of the American Revolution, who didn't quite have a full bag of marbles.

It all starts innocently enough, with a relatively sane King George administering government alongside the Queen (Helen Mirren). But soon George falls victim to an unpredictable nervous disorder, causing the King to completely lose his mind. For the next 20 minutes, people inexplicably chase the rambling King in his bedclothes, either in his castle or on the fields. I suppose there's a fine line between whether you can actually tackle a King or if he should be allowed to gallop around England unmolested, but I'm just a cold-hearted anti-Royalist American who wouldn't understand the intricacies of managing the throne.

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David Parfitt Movies

My Week With Marilyn Movie Review

My Week With Marilyn Movie Review

Based on Colin Clark's memoirs, this film sometimes feels a bit too warm and nostalgic...

I Capture the Castle Movie Review

I Capture the Castle Movie Review

Movies teach us the power of love. Reality, quickly and without apology, demonstrates its limitations....

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Chasing Liberty Movie Review

Chasing Liberty Movie Review

If you really want to know what Mandy Moore did last summer, then check out...

Shakespeare in Love Movie Review

Shakespeare in Love Movie Review

Easily the best comedy of the year - and the best film of the year...

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